Dec 26 2017

Local governors ban play by purged teacher

Turkey’s post-coup purges have banished thousands of people from all aspects of the social life.

In a recent case, five local township governors in the western province of Muğla have banned a theatre play because it was written by a teacher who was dismissed by a government decree.

The teacher was told that the play she wrote could not be performed in local theatres because she was accused of “membership in a terrorist organisation,” secular newspaper Cumhuriyet reported.

The play had been performed at 31 other provinces before Muğla, the newspaper said.

The accusation against the teacher is based on the standard clause placed on many of the 29 decree laws issued since the July 2016 coup attempt, including the latest one this week which purged 2,766 from office:

These personnel were considered to be members of terrorist organisations, or have membership to an organisation deemed to threaten national security.

The decrees enter into force under the state of emergency, without judicial or legislative review, and with no effective right of appeal for the dismissed personnel, critics say.

According to a report by the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Turkish government has dismissed 111,240 civil servants in the first year of state of emergency. 33,233 were Ministry of Education employees, and the majority were teachers.

Duygu Şahlar, a pre-school teacher was one of them.

“Decrees banned us from working at state institutions. But this ban shows that they want to eradicate us from all aspects of society,” said Şahlar.